Thursday, December 15, 2016

What I've Been Doing Recently - Part 2

Way back in June, I wrote down a few thought about what I had been doing, and thinking. My thought was to continue the thread every month, but then summer got crazy - as it often does- and then school started, and well, frankly, I just didn't get around to it. I should probably get back to the Working and Homeschooling posts as well. I think I'll put that on my list for January. Then I joined up with my friend Kym with her Homeschool Highlights linkup doing my Week in Review posts. I've mostly been sharing our day to day stuff in those posts every week or two. 

The thing is, those Homeschool Highlights/ Week in Review posts don't often share what I have been doing as much as they focus on our family's doings. Is there a difference between those two? Sometimes, yes.

So today I thought I'd jump on in here and share a few thoughts that have been rumbling around in my heart and mind for a while. Tomorrow I'll plan to get another Week in Review up - a lot has happened since I last recapped two weeks ago!

Mama Encouragement, thoughts on Christ, homeschooling High School

For today...

I've been trying to be more intentional. I want to make sure I give myself room to follow through with as many things that I commit to doing as God will allow me to do - so I've been committing to less. I'm not necessarily doing much less, but I've been making the conscious choice to say "no" to opportunities that would require a lot of time away from focusing on my family because I know that they are my first and most important ministry.

Today is the 15th of December and we haven' t even decorated the house for Christmas yet. At least we already cleaned it, so decorating should get finished today and tomorrow! It has been a weird month, but one full of joy, so I am not feeling rushed to throw up some decorations, but rather want to dig out the rest of the Christmas music and enjoy the decorating!

Our oldest graduated High School last weekend, and that has led to a shift in my perspective on Home education. I still think this was the best decision for our daughters, but the shift has come in how I communicate that to others. I realize not everyone can or will homeschool their children, and I know the reasons for those choices are as varied as the families I come in contact with. What I have come to realize is that my focus should not be on trying to convince anyone to choose home education, but to encourage them to seek God's will in every aspect of their lives.

It should be obvious that we encourage others to seek God's will for their lives, and yet, we often encourage them to seek other things instead. Maybe not on purpose, but simply because we are enthusiastic about one thing or another in our lives and we want to share it.

Seek first His Kingdom.

My heart's desire is to point others to Christ. To see many come to Christ as their Lord and Savior. I want to encourage people to listen carefully for the knock of Christ on their heart's door. Because Jesus is a gentleman and stands at the door and knocks, instead of crashing into our lives and forcing us to love Him, I think some people find it all too easy to ignore Christ, to say they do not hear His call - because they are not listening for it. How can I help others hear His gentle knock, His soft call that can transform their hearts and lives for eternity? I'm not sure, but I want to seek His will for my life so I can speak His truth into the lives of others.

I want to walk by faith - every day - especially on the hard ones! God can be trusted to care for His own, and I want to know that I know that I know that He is caring for me. The only way that happens is if I spend more time with Him, reading His Word and communing with Him through prayer, and less time with the things of the world that would draw me away from Him. 

I have been doing a lot of Scripture Writing, and that has really helped me focus on and remember the passages I write. I have been meditating on how good God is to all of us, and how much He loves me. One of the recurring things that has been sticking out in my mind this month is that God never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13)

My goal for this blog for 2017 is to be more intentional about encouraging those who read it. There are so many great writers out there who blog about free educational resources, great recipes, and how to get and stay organized. There are blogs with free printables, blogs with DIY instructions, and blogs with book lists for small children. There are not as many bloggers out there who are pouring God's love out upon their readers on a weekly basis.  I will still blog about field trips and experiential learning, and I'm sure every once in a while I might blog about some yummy food, but I want to make sure our focus is on glorifying Christ and sharing Him with a world in need.

The world probably needs more honesty about how to home educate through High School, and so I plan to write about that a lot in 2017. I had a really good talk with my friend Linda last month about how things change when your children get older, and how there just wasn't a lot out there about Homeschooling High School when we began the home education journey. I know there is more available now, but I want to continually encourage you readers that it IS possible to home educate all the way through High School, and it can be fun. I also want to remind you that it can bring you a lot of joy when your teens are learning alongside you! We will share some honest stories about what worked well for us, and what didn't, and hopefully get some input from our friends who have graduated their children as well.

We as Moms set the pace for our family's life. If your pace has been too frantic, as our has sometimes been, choose today to go to God and ask Him to help you sort through it all and choose what goes and what stays. 

Our dear friend Mike, who is a native Lenape Indian by birth, has shared a valuable lesson with us over the years. The most important person at this very moment is the one he is talking to right now. 

Mike is so right in that view. That person matters. Do not hurry through this conversation just to get to the next one, as you may miss something really important. What I am doing right now is oh so very important, why else would I devote my time to it? If my current task is fixing dinner for my family, then I had better pay attention to dinner, and not try to multi-task four other things at the same time. If my current thing is talking to my 18 year old, then I had better slow down and really listen to what she is saying. She is the most important person at this very moment. While she is not the most important person in my whole life ever, she is oh so important right now.  May I never make her feel that I do not care. God forgive me for the times my distracted mind has pulled me away from caring about the person right in front of me. Let me be more intentional in my listening, in my hearing, in my speech.

I've been thinking about a lot of things recently, and doing quite a few of them. Through it all I've come to this conclusion:

Life is a journey we take. It is about the journey, and the destination. Don't miss either part!


  1. Thank you, darling Carol. I loved reading this thoughtful, meaningful post.

  2. A good reminder that my heart needed to hear Carol, thanks.

  3. Congratulations on the graduating teen Carol! Thank you for the reminder about slowing down, especially at this time of the year.

  4. Good thoughts. Congrats on the graduating. How exciting!

  5. I so agree with you about the need for honest blogging about the experience of homeschooling our high schoolers. I have been trying to write more about our day-to-day homeschooling experiences with high school, even if it's not very exciting. LOL By being real, I hope I can be an encouragement to others. Just as you are to me and to many others! :-) Congrats on your graduate!!

    PS - we finally got our tree decorated just a couple of days ago. o.O

  6. There is so much positivity in this blog post that I love it! I've been contemplating a lot lately what my new word for 2017 will be. Part of me wants to say progress, because I want us to progress in school, and I want to progress in growing my blog. Yet, reading this I feel much more relaxed (and I just wrote a stress free homeschool post...) and think that thinking positive would be such a better focus not just through the holidays, but throughout the new year as well. You've encouraged me today!

  7. I have been reading your post this morning in reverse order and really enjoyed this one, Carol. Indeed, taking the time to really "be" in the moment is so important these days. I have found myself particularly busy this month to the point that I have lost sight of "being". Thank you for your words of wisdom! Congratulations to Emily! Such a fine young woman. I know she will go on to do great things.